Tips for Safe Hair Removal with Atopic Dermatitis - Advanced Dermatology Care
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Tips for Safe Hair Removal with Atopic Dermatitis

Woman Shaving Legs

Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema that about ten percent of the population experience. This condition causes red, itchy, skin and affects both men and women. Hair removal whether it be by waxing, shaving, or laser treatments can be problematic for people who suffer from atopic dermatitis. Hair removal can irritate the skin, because when you’re trying to remove hair, you can irritate your skin in the process. There are a variety of steps you can take to help prevent skin irritation such as moisturizing the skin, exfoliating, and using a sharp razor.

It is highly recommended by skin specialists that you are moisturizing and hydrating your skin before you shave. Make sure that the area you are shaving is moist before you remove any hair. Shaving dry skin can cause irritation and damage your skin permanently. For those with beard hair, it is best to leave some moisturizer on your beard right before you are going to shave. You can also use a wet towel and apply it to where you want to shave. Shaving in the shower decreases your chances of irritating your skin because your body is usually soft and moist. It is also important to exfoliate your skin after hydrating it. You can physically exfoliate or use a chemical exfoliator. This will keep the skin healthy and less likely to become irritated.

Dermatologists recommend using a razor over depilatory creams such as Nair or even waxing. Hair removal creams contain strong chemicals and can really damage the skin if left on for too long. Waxing can also irritate the skin because of the amount of force being applied to the skin. For best results, use a razor that is clean and sharp. Make sure to shave in the direction the hair is growing and not against it. You can also try using an electric razor, they tend to not provide as close of a shave as regular razors. Shaving too close can lead to painful ingrown hairs. While shaving, it is important that you use products meant for shaving such as shaving creams and toners to optimize results.

After shaving, moisturizing again is essential. The best thing you can do for eczema-prone skin is to keep it moisturized throughout the day. Start with your daily shower and a soothing body wash designed for sensitive skin. Long-lasting hydration improves the skin barrier and helps future breakouts be less severe. Make sure to hydrate from the inside as well. Drink the recommended 8-ounce glasses of water each day. You can also apply over-the counter hydrocortisone topical cream, as needed, to help soothe shaving irritation, as well as an emollient to keep skin soft. However, if you have sensitive skin, consult with a skin care specialist to confirm that these products are suited for your skin type.


Advanced Dermatology Care of Southern California is a comprehensive dermatology group providing general & surgical dermatology, cosmetic enhancements and plastic surgery with two Southern California locations. Under the direction of Michael P. Tabibian, M.D., Medical Director, our collective experience aims to provide our patients innovative and highly individualized skin treatment solutions for patients of all ages and skin types.